The Nude Adds the Body & Figure for Deeper Meaning

For the past 25 years, LAL’s Nude has grown to be the most anticipated exhibition presented at the Loudoun House. This coming season, however, LAL has shifted the focus from the nude as object to including more metaphorical representations.

Image: "Evolution I" by Kirsti Anderssen

Body | Figure | Nude, on display at the Loudoun House gallery January 14 through March 11, 2012, is a group show of 40 artists, juried by Anna Brzyski (Chellgren Endowed Associate Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at University of Kentucky) and Becky Alley (LAL Exhibitions & Programs Director).

Back in 2010, Professor Brzyski answered a few questions for ArtBeat. When asked what time periods throughout art history were significant or transformative in regards to the nude, she stated, “In terms of the most dynamic and controversial periods, I would have to choose either the turn of the century or the present. In both instances, the nude was/is used by artists to tackle socially sensitive areas, in particular those pertaining to sexuality.”

From Egon Schiele to Robert Mapplethorpe, the body has been used not only for artistic study, but also to convey concepts ranging from eroticism to what it means to be human.

The works in Body | Figure | Nude concentrate on the latter. The artists move beyond an art practice and into allegorical territory.

Themes and media vary from femininity (like that found in the mixed-media installation Cosmic Egg by Sondra Schwetman) to privacy and identity, (evidenced in the digital life-sized Body Scans by Nick Reszetar), and to burden and psychology (taken from Evolution I, the graphite drawing by Kirsti Anderssen). All works, no matter the media used, employ the body, figure or nude as a vehicle for expressing today’s culture and the “socially sensitive areas”, as Professor Brzyski stated.

More information on lectures, workshops and tickets for the events surrounding Body | Figure | Nude can be found on LAL’s website.

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